He had no training, no experience. His introverted personality did not lend itself to the task. But last week, a teenager preached the gospel and saw lives changed immediately. How did it happen? A large group of teens from McKinney, Texas, descended upon Chichigalpa and Leon, Nicaragua, last week. Their mission: to share the gospel door-to-door, speak to classes, and conduct Bible studies at local (tiny) churches. The fledgling preacher, Nate, explained how the event unfolded: “Our group leader was telling… Read more

For one day a year, in the US at least, everyone is Irish—or wishes they were. On March 17, shamrocks, green rivers, and stories about Irish festivals and dancing will dominate the airwaves and news sites. But the history nerd—ok, let’s face it, also the Bible nerd—in me can’t wait to focus on the origin of the holiday—a trafficked teen from Scotland who escaped his Irish captors by obeying a vision from God . . . then returned voluntarily as… Read more

I’ve never liked the phrase “the power of prayer.” Too many times people toss it out like a talisman, a lucky charm, as if to say that enough people praying will make something happen. No, that’s not how it works. The power of prayer lies in the One to whom we pray. God makes things happen, sometimes because we pray but always because it’s his will. The act of praying isn’t powerful in itself. I still believe that. If a… Read more

March 8 has become known as International Women’s Day, a focal point within Women’s History Month (March). The movement to acknowledge women’s contributions to American history gained momentum in the 1970s, when President Jimmy Carter instituted these commemorative days. Today, women occupy congressional offices, run for President, lead international governments, and make headlines for their support of the #metoo movement. They are not willing to be ignored or sidelined by historically male powerbrokers of our society. Since I have no desire… Read more

I discovered fastpitch softball almost by accident. Riding my bike around the spacious fields that surrounded my elementary school, only two blocks from my house, I noticed a team of softball players by the backstop. They sparked my curiosity, and I casually rode their way. Wait, that’s Mimi! And Maureen. And a couple of other friends from around my neighborhood. I had no idea they played on a softball team. So I parked my bike under the huge oak tree… Read more

Historically, God has “belonged” to certain groups of people: first to the Jews, and then to the church. He chose Israel from among all the nations as his special people.  A few famous miracles reveal his partiality for them: He parted the Red Sea to rescue them from slavery. He toppled the walls of Jericho. He gave David victory over Goliath. God has also chosen his church, those who believe in Jesus as his Son and Savior, to be his… Read more

“So, are the kids okay?” I sat across from a fellow mom at lunch. My junior-high son is pretty sweet on her daughter, a girl with the good taste to return the sentiments. Girl-mom and boy-mom have since begun talking on a regular basis. Not quite daily, but close. “Everything’s good. I noticed in their emails that he congratulated her on her recent award. And last week when we had them and their friends over for pizza and games, I… Read more

Since the news broke this morning of the death of Dr. Billy Graham at age 99, news and social media have been filled with running commentary about his life and legacy. The world-renowned evangelist may have been ailing and secluded from the public eye for the last few years, but no one has forgotten him. His passing catapulted him back into the headlines, radio waves, and carpool conversations. I haven’t been able to look away. I’ve been moved to tears… Read more

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Dickens? Well, yes. But I’m thinking . . . social media. It’s true, right? Online community offers a world of opportunity, but it is also a breeding ground for negativity. Note that I did not say social media is evil. It’s merely a tool . . . used by sinners, some of whom aren’t redeemed. And even redeemed users can still be foolish. Recently I participated in a panel discussing social… Read more

I love a captive audience, don’t you? I find great, often diabolical, humor in the reality that my children are forced to endure their mother’s words: questioning, singing, preaching, teaching, inquiring, (sometimes) lecturing . . . Because when we live sixteen miles from school, we do much of life in the car. And for most of the twelve years since my oldest started school, I’ve worn the chauffeur cap. I hold my children captive for thirty minutes twice a day, since… Read more

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